Small Business Marketing Tall Tale #3 – You’ve Got to Get Your Name Out There

Get your name out there. Plaster it everywhere. Slap it on the side of a bus. Paint it on a park bench. Print some matchbook covers. Cover your car in it. Shout it from the highest mountain top. Do what ever you have to, but get it out in front of as many people as possible.

WRONG…WRONG…WRONG…WRONG…WRONG!

Market yourself this way and you’ll be spending countless hours on your efforts. You’ll be wasting precious time and energy on avenues that never bear fruit and will be speaking to people who aren’t listening and probably even annoying the crap out of them.

Ultimately, you will burn yourself out in an exhaustive effort that yields absolutely zero.

Yep, I said it…Zero, Zip, Nada, Nothing. If you are one of the many who buys into this “get your name out there” philosophy, you are most likely already sitting on a curb somewhere huffing and puffing with exhaustion.

You are feeling like a candle burning wicks on both ends and just want to throw in the towel on this marketing stuff. But you can’t. It’s your business’ livelihood at stake. What other option do you have?

An Excuse for Marketing that Doesn’t Work

“Get your name out there” is an old fable made up by marketing hacks who needed an excuse for advertising that doesn’t work.

You’ve probably heard, or even said yourself, when someone asked:

“How did that ad work?”

“Well, it was OK. We got a few calls. Most importantly, though, we got our name out there.”

Right. Got your name out there to whom? What does that mean anyway? You paid for an ad or for a bus stop bench (god forbid) and you got no calls.

If you get any solace by believing you got some mysterious value out of that, you’re kidding yourself.

Why not just spray paint your name on the sidewalk? It would probably work better and get more attention.

The Poor Get Poorer

Unfortunately marketing junk like this usually afflicts the people who can most scarcely afford it. Small businesses who don’t think they can afford help with their marketing or think all they can afford is the most basic “get your name out there” techniques are the usual victims.

The worst part is some businesses bet their existence on this myth. They’re desperate. Business isn’t what it needs to be, so they take a long shot and bet it all on the bus bench. Ouch.

That’s like realizing your personal finances aren’t in good shape and cashing your pay check for a six pack and 163 lottery tickets.

It Gets Worse

As if it wasn’t bad enough, these same businesses
who buy junk ads and pray they work use the same logic they used to buy the ad to design the ad.

Well, the purpose of this ad is to “get our name out there.” So, let’s start with our name. Then we’ll say we’re bonded and insured, have great service and the lowest prices.

Does that sound familiar? Amazing, you must have some of the same bad advertisers in your town as we do in ours. What a small world!

Sometimes, these companies will hire a graphic designer to make the ad that says nothing of value look pretty so that while nobody is paying attention to it they can feel comfortable knowing they’re “getting their name out there” – in style. Right on.

Sadly, it doesn’t work this way. It’s not even close.

Advertising is not a joke and it’s not a game. It’s about drawing and wrenching emotions out of people and tying your message to existing anchors they have in their subconscious mind. It’s about causing them to take action they can hardly resist.

This is not accomplished by “getting your name out there.” It’s not accomplished by graphic designers. It doesn’t happen on park benches or car magnets.

There Is One Better Option

Now you know that you cannot spend this much time creating and managing weak marketing messages and delivering them to the far reaches of the planet. You have a business to take care of – or have you forgotten?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the perceived glamour of the marketing and advertising process, but it’s something you have to avoid at all costs.

Your time is the single most precious asset your company has and its misuse is the reason why more businesses go under faster than the R.M.S. Lusitania.

So, if not “get your name out there,” what do you do? Get it out in front of the right people, the right way, many, many times.

The Golden Snitch of this grueling game is caught by doing several things: planning, targeting, testing and measuring – very frequently. It’s a full time job.

Find that segment that is looking for, nay, needs that sensational offering you have. Find them. Learn about them. Live like them. Know them and love them. Then let it loose. Measure. Do it again. Measure. Refine. Do it again. Measure. Never stop.

Ultimately, if done correctly, your potential and existing customers will gravitate toward you, orbiting like our planet orbits the sun.

Creating a game plan…you’ve heard the coaches say it umpteen times. They are on to something. They have a playbook and they stick to it. Even if times get tough they still go to the trusty playbook.

They’re constantly trying new plays and testing new strategies and keeping a book of the best options.

You need a playbook; you need to know which players to put on the field for each play and you need a coach, unless you have an extra 40 hours per week to put into the game.

Doing anything else is just “spraying and praying.” It’s like buying beer and lottery tickets.

Tall Tale Four will show you how you’re wasting tons of dough and losing revenue by trying to under-cut your competition over a sliver of market share.

NTP: Inaccurate Time – How Is It Silently Killing Your Company?

How Is Inaccurate Time Killing Your Company?

The Absence of Network Time Servers

The cost of lost timeClocking off time, the end of another productive day for your business and your trusty wall clock displays the time as 17.00pm.

Your staff start to leave for the day bidding you a good night, but wait a minute, your computer clock shows the time as 16.50pm, which is in fact the correct time.

It’s only 10 minutes, no harm done. But wait, how long has that wall clock been wrong? Six months? 12 months?

Suddenly, you realise that your business has been losing 10 minutes of valuable work time, per employee, for 5 days a week over an entire year. That’s the equivalent of 4.2 days for each staff member, almost an entire working week, presuming your business hours are Monday – Friday.

Over a period of 12 months you’ve being paying salaries, in full, for less hours from your staff. But all this could have been avoided, if only you had accurate time.

The cost of poor timekeepingIn multi-departmental organisations the absence of accurate time across all departments can result in chain-of-production breakdown.

How? An urgent, large order has been placed for one of your products. The order is only guaranteed if it leaves the warehouse by 4pm.

The order is processed at 10am by the administration team. All the relevant credit checks are carried out to ensure the customer can pay, which is completed by 11am.

The order is actioned and packaged, then you’re informed it’s ready for distribution. Fantastic. To make sure it has left the distribution centre, you give the distribution manager a call at exactly 4pm, well at least according to your wall and computer clock.

“What do you mean it hasn’t gone?” you exclaim. “It’s only 3.55pm and we’re just loading up”, replies the distribution manager. It turns out the clocks across the way in the production department are 5 minutes out of sync. Suddenly, 5 minutes has cost you a £100,000 order, and slightly tarnished your reputation with this particular customer.

Inaccurate Time Ignored

If your wrist watch is out of sync with the bus time table and you miss your bus, resulting in you being late for work, this is a problem for you. So, you adjust your watch to ensure that you don’t miss the next one.

In business, inaccurate time can cause far larger problems. Unfortunately, many organisations take time for granted, until 5 or 10 minute discrepancies between a few clocks creates a major issue.

Without Network Time Servers in place, there is no reliable method of maintaining accurate time across your company, and clocks begin to drift, filtering through the entire organisation.

Ignoring inaccurate time is silently costing your company thousands in lost labour and lost orders. Additionally, you earn a reputation for poor time-keeping, leaving you with a three pronged combination that can bring even the biggest business to its knees.

For Truly Accurate Time, The Only Way Is A Dedicated Time Server

The installation of a dedicated, NTP time server – a device designed specifically for the synchronisation of time across numerous devices connected to a network – is the simple, safe & secure way of achieving total time synchronisation throughout your business.

Why Should I Buy A Time Server? I’ve Heard You Can Get Them Free

It’s true, the internet is awash with free NTP servers and they’re attractive because they’re free.

However, does free mean reliable? The answer is no, otherwise there wouldn’t be any companies investing in dedicated network time servers.

The flaws of free time servers are numerous, raising questions concerning security because they operate without a firewall, leaving your network vulnerable to attack.

They’re also out of your control, operated from various university campuses and other facilities. If their systems fail, your network is affected.

In reality, free internet time servers have the potential to create more problems than they resolve when it comes to time accuracy.

How To Speed Up The Process Of Loading DVD To iPod

Would you rather be spending less time loading DVD to iPod? If you answered ‘No’ then you’ve probably got too much time on your hands. Time certainly flies by when you have a lot of things going on. Even a few minutes a day waiting can add up to a huge amount of time. Just think about all those minutes spent stuck in traffic, waiting at a bank or bus stop. A person spends on average 45 minutes a day waiting.

By the time your 70, you will have spent 3 years of your life waiting! So what do you think, is time precious to you? There are several good DVD to iPod converters on the market, however choosing the right one could save you more than just a few minutes a day extra compared to a slower converter.

No one wants to spend hours loading DVD to iPod, monitoring the slow progress bar every 5 minutes only to see it gain 1%, or worse a crash! This can prevent you from doing other important things. If you like to watch your movies then you’d probably want to be downloading more than just one DVD at a time.

If you’re planning to transfer more than one DVD to your iPod, you might find that you’re going to have to spend the whole weekend doing so. If you consider the file sizes of most new DVD’s on the market, then the last thing you want to happen is a computer freeze when it hits 99%! More reason to make sure you get one that is fast and reliable when shopping for DVD to iPod converters.

Not all DVD to iPod converters are in the same league, while others boast fast transfers, some may guarantee flawless conversions. Some may require several steps to loading DVD to iPod, when all you really want is one that has a ‘Start loading now’ button and be the end of it. Can it really be that easy though?

The answer is ‘yes’, but there are only a few converters on the market that can deliver high standards and speed when loading DVD to iPod. So save yourself time and start loading your favorite movies. Less time loading means more time for you. The next time you’re in a queue or waiting at the bus stop you can take out your trusty iPod and watch a DVD you effortlessly downloaded the same day.